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Posted: 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012

From the menu of … Ippolito’s

By C. W. Cameron

From the menu of … Ippolito’s Italian Restaurant, 350 Town Center Avenue, Suwanee. 678-985-4377, www.ippolitos.net

Q: We love Ippolito’s Italian restaurant and think their Pasta e Fagioli soup is the best. Any way we can get the recipe? Thanks.

S. Gingras, Lawrenceville

A: Pasta e Fagioli is not a standard menu item at the six Ippolito’s locations, but is occasionally offered as a special and prepared a little differently at each location. Brandon Ippolito, part of the second generation in the family business, shared this recipe, which comes from the Ippolito’s at Suwannee Town Center.

Pasta e fagioli means “pasta and beans,” and the dish is traditionally meatless. Ippolito’s version features just a bit of bacon for added flavor, and chicken stock. Delete the bacon and use vegetable stock for a vegetarian/vegan version.

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to fromthemenu@gmail.com and put “From the menu of” and the name of the restaurant in the subject line.

Ippolito’s Pasta e Fagioli

Hands on: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Makes: 12 cups

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces bacon, chopped (about 2 slices)

1 quart chicken stock

2 cups water

1 cup tomato sauce or canned crushed tomatoes

4 ribs celery, finely chopped

2 small carrots, finely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

4 chopped garlic cloves

1 fresh or 2 dried bay leaves

2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed, drained

2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained

1 1/2 cups dried small shell pasta

Coarse salt and pepper

Fresh basil, for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and bacon over medium heat, cooking until bacon is slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, water, tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and bay leaves and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cannellini beans, kidney beans and pasta. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked al dente, about 8 minutes. Let soup rest for a few minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning and garnish with fresh basil if desired.

Nutritional analysis per 1-cup serving: 236 calories (percent of calories from fat, 22), 14 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, 7 grams fiber, 6 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 623 milligrams sodium

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